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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

At the airport

Goodale. Big catch. Adds to Rae's economic credibility.

Is there anything else in store? I wonder...

This is shaping up to be an interesting week!
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Calling Scott Reid...

From the National Post...

Mr. Ignatieff's campaign manager Ian Davey reacted angrily, accusing both men [Rae and Dion] of "playing games" and "stoking fire" on the Quebec issue since last month and now "talking about shutting down the debate from the back rooms" at the convention in Montreal.


From the Globe and Mail...

[Bob Rae] said yesterday that the Conservative motion apparently does not raise any suggestion that it will be in the Constitution.

"It seems to me that there is an issue that the government is going to have to answer, and that is, what is the legal impact of this resolution?"

Michael Ignatieff's campaign manager, Ian Davey, blasted Mr. Rae, insisting he is trying to avoid taking a stand.


Again, from the Globe and Mail...

A senior adviser to the Michael Ignatieff Leadership Campaign has taken a broadside shot at Justin Trudeau, advising the younger Trudeau to restudy his father's thinking on nationalism and labelling him “perhaps more celebrity than seasoning”.

In an email circulating an 11,500-word essay first posted to a Liberal party blog, Toronto lawyer and Liberal leadership convention delegate Alfred Apps slams Justin Trudeau's argument against a nation of Quebec as shallow, and concludes that, if Pierre Trudeau were alive today, the former Prime Minister would side with Mr. Ignatieff.


A few questions
  • Who speaks for the Michael Ignatieff campaign?
  • When was the last time a senior backroom official made it a point to "react angrily," "blast," "broadside" or "slam" his candidate's opponents?
  • Better yet, when was the last time a senior backroom official made it a point to personally and publically comment on the issues of the day?
  • Remind me again, how did that turn out?

Political campaigns run by TV producers may make for a lot of drama (or, in this case, a stunning comedy of errors). But ask yourself: Are these guys really ready for prime time?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Question unanswered

With the Iggy Nationalists out in force gloating about how the most neo-conservative Prime Minister in Canadian history agrees with their guy on yet another issue, I thought I would repost a blog post I made a few weeks ago on this whole nation notion.

I am a francophone living outside Quebec. In the 1850s, my family established its home in what is now known as Ontario. They were the descendants of Canada's earliest French settlers. Thus, I belong to one of Canada's "founding peoples," even though I reject the concept of colonialism such a term implies.

While I do not live in Quebec, I am proud to share in "the unique language and culture" that characterizes francophones in that province.

What about me? Do I have a nation? If yes, what is it? If no, why not?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

For VP-Finance of the Young Liberals of Canada...

If you want an honest, capable, dedicated, proven, engaged, brilliant and (might I say) delighfully handsome individual taking care of the YLC's chequebook, I strongly encourage you to vote for this guy.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A national imperative

A $10,000 credit card bill for cancer drugs? 600,000 Atlantic Canadians with no drug coverage at all? Canadian citizens rationing necessary pills so they don't go bankrupt?

Absolutely ridiculous.

I agree completely with this. Even though Bob Rae is the only leadership candidate talking about the issue, I think Liberals should rally behind the idea of a national catastrophic drug plan, regardless who wins on December 2nd.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Taking Jason's advice

Jason Cherniak implores us to ignore the "silly" and "insulting" lies floating around in this leadership race. For the most part, I agree with his statement, although I disagree with some of his specific examples/conclusions. In any case, here's my take, from the Decima Poll released today:

Lie #1 -- Ontario won't vote for Rae
Among Ontario respondents, 46 per cent said they would or would consider voting Liberal with Mr. Rae as leader, compared to 45 per cent for Mr. Kennedy, 40 per cent for Mr. Dion and 38 per cent for Mr. Ignatieff. [...] Moreover, 47 per cent of Ontarians said Mr. Rae's record as premier is a non-issue. Another 19 per cent said his record is actually a positive factor, while 25 per cent said it's a negative factor

Lie #2 -- Rae will bleed Liberal support
Mr. Rae's edge was more pronounced among respondents who voted Liberal and New Democrat in the last election [...] Among Liberal voters, 68 per cent said they were certain to vote Liberal again or would consider doing so with Mr. Rae at the helm, compared with 63 per cent for Mr. Dion, 61 per cent for Mr. Ignatieff and 59 per cent for Mr. Kennedy.

Lie #3 -- Liberals must focus on appealing to Conservative swing voters [Note: the line most often peddled by the Ignatieff crowd]
Respondents who voted Conservative in the last election were most likely to rule out voting Liberal under any circumstances; none of the top four leadership contenders had a statistically significant edge with this group. [...] Twenty-one per cent of Tory voters said they'd consider voting Liberal under the leadership of either Mr. Dion or Mr. Kennedy, 20 per cent under Mr. Rae and 17 per cent under Mr. Ignatieff.

Lie #4 -- Liberals shouldn't waste their time appealing to NDP swing voters
Among NDP voters, 41 per cent would vote or consider voting Liberal under Mr. Rae's leadership, compared with 31 per cent for Mr. Dion, 28 per cent for Mr. Kennedy and 27 per cent for Mr. Ignatieff.

Lie #5 -- Michael Ignatieff is the best choice to beat Stephen Harper
Decima also tested the appeal of Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Rae, the first- and second-place contenders, against that of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. When respondents were asked who would make the best prime minister, neither candidate came out ahead of Mr. Harper, although Mr. Rae fared considerably better than Mr. Ignatieff. [...] Respondents preferred Mr. Harper over Mr. Rae by a margin of 44 per cent to 32 per cent. Against Mr. Ignatieff, Mr. Harper's margin improved to 48 per cent to 24 per cent. Among respondents who voted Liberal last time, Mr. Rae was preferred over Mr. Harper by a margin of 54 per cent to 29 per cent. But an Ignatieff-Harper match was a toss up: 39 per cent of Liberals preferred Mr. Ignatieff, 38 per cent preferred Mr. Harper.

So to conclude...
  • For the 24982943 time, a poll has shown that "Liberals would fare best under Bob Rae"
  • Bob Rae appeals the most to progressive voters of all stripes.
  • Bob Rae will maintain our support among Liberal voters and expand our pool (or "pond," if you will) to include those who have voted for other parties in the past.
  • Conservative voters aren't likely to vote for us in the next election, and are even less likely to support our party under the leadership of Michael Ignatieff.
  • Both Ignatieff and Rae trail Harper on the ever-important "Best PM" measure. Regardless who wins this leadership race, we need to turn these numbers around, and fast. I contend the job will be easier with Bob Rae as leader. A 12-point gap seems easier to bridge than a 24-point gap, especially if we have a seasoned campaigner at the helm.
  • Michael Ignatieff is seemingly as popular among Liberal voters as Stephen Harper is. Never fear, though! Should Michael win the leadership, I'm sure he'll appeal to enough "Greens and separatist Bloc Quebecois" supporters to make up the difference.

For those of you waiting for the "more thoughtful analysis" on my previous post, I defer to the delightful CuriosityCat, who said it better than I ever could. Greg over at DemocraticSpace also offers a wonderfully cogent argument on the technicalities of appealing to NDP and Conservative voters.

For those of you waiting for the Kennedy interview, it seems Antonio and I have the same problem...My tape is a little fuzzy as well, but I'm trying to transcribe as best I can.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Michael Ignatieff on Canadian voters....

From today's Globe and Mail, Michael Ignatieff supposedly assails Bob Rae's strategy on appealing to progressive voters by saying the following:

"What Liberals need is someone who can run down the middle with a progressive message, and leave the NDP in their own particular ghetto," Mr. Ignatieff said in an interview.

NDP voters? Ghetto!?!?!!?? Did he seriously just say that?

Mark my words: Iggy is finished.

(A more thoughtful analysis to follow. I just can't friggen believe this guy!)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Another wonderful study in contrasts


Bernard Landy salue la position de Michael Ignatieff, qui reconnaît au Québec le statut de « nation », à la différence de Bob Rae et de Stéphane Dion, ses adversaires dans la course au leadership du Parti libéral du Canada ...

L'ancien chef du PQ qualifie cette position de «revirement spectaculaire» pour les libéraux fédéraux.

(In English:Bernard Landry applauds Michael Ignatieff's position, which recognizes Quebec as a nation within Canada, in contrast to Bob Rae and Stephane Dion, his main challengers in the race to lead the Liberal Party of Canada ... The former PQ leader calls this position "a spectacular turnaround" for the Federal Liberals.)

...and here...

In a strongly worded attack against the Liberal leadership candidate, Mr. Boisclair predicted that Bob Rae will pay dearly for stating that the type of nationalism practised in Quebec is "less good and less generous" than the Canadian nationalism he espouses ...

The PQ Leader was responding to Mr. Rae's comments published yesterday in La Presse and the National Post [in which Rae said] "If we start from negative premises we inevitably come to negative conclusions. Institutions can always be improved, but we may have to be careful not to embrace the rhetoric of those who suggest that there is a fatal flaw in the Canadian idea," Mr. Rae wrote.

"It's also important to remember that it is precisely our federal structure that has allowed Quebec to succeed in so many ways."

So to sum up:

  • Michael Ignatieff is lauded by an avowed separatist for encouraging Liberals to (in Landry's words) "turn our backs on the fundamental Canadian creed as espoused by Pierre Trudeau"
  • Bob Rae is attacked by an avowed separatist for standing up for our traditional Liberal policies on national unity and for saying that the Canadian federal structure is what has allowed Quebec to be successful

My questions to my fellow delegates in Montreal would thus be:

  • Do you agree with Michael Ignatieff's "spectacular turnaround" that has led Landry to say that we should "turn our backs" on Trudeau's vision for Canada?
  • Do you agree that Quebec has benefited from being a part of Canada, as Bob Rae suggests?
  • Do we really want to elect a Liberal leader who's position on national unity has been endorsed by a man dedicated to ripping this country apart?
  • Would it not be a better idea to elect a Liberal leader who's advocacy for "the Canadian idea" has earned him the wrath of the separatists?

A simple choice, really.

A truly "liberal" keynote

This I am looking forward to.

Governor Howard Dean: Progressivism at its best.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Food for thought

I know we've heard it all before, but I thought I'd throw this in for good measure. From CBC/Environics...

Question: If one of the following candidates were to become Liberal party leader, would you be more likely to vote Liberal, less likely to vote Liberal, or would it make no difference?

Dion: More likely 10%; Less likely 20%
Ignatieff: More likely 12%; Less likely 20%
Kennedy: More likely 7%; Less likely 16%
Rae: More likely 17%; Less likely 20%

In other words, by a 5-10% margin,more Canadians are likely to vote Liberal if Bob Rae wins in December than if any of the other frontrunners is elected leader. Compared to the other candidates, his political "baggage" does not seem to be affecting his negatives in any significant way.

More and more, I'm getting the feeling that polls like these are starting to make a difference. Will it affect the results in Montreal? I hope so, but I'm not sure. I guess we'll know for certain in about three and a half weeks.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Toronto--Centre/Ryerson YL Fundraiser

My always-helpful and oh-so-delightful colleagues from the Toronto--Centre Young Liberals have asked me to mention their upcoming fundraiser, happening this Friday, November 10th at the Groundhog Pub (Bloor and Sherbourne). This is a joint fundraiser for the TCYL and the Ryerson University Young Liberals. Here's the pitch...

Come out to hear Mr. Graham and Mr. Smitherman speak about the exciting future of the Liberal party and to support the Young Liberals of this riding. Everyone is welcome to attend this event, young and not-so-young!

Please register by sending an email to

Event Price: Youth (25 and under) - $10 early bird, or $15 at the door; "Adults" - $20 early bird, or $25 at the door. Please email RSVP to register for the early bird price.

We welcome any donations, and tax receipts will be issued, if requested for any amount of $25 or higher


I urge any interested Liberal who will be in the Toronto area to attend. Who knows, you just may spot a blogger or two...

Monday, November 06, 2006

"Uncurable poisoned fruit"????

This is what I call vindication.

"[T]he committee chastises the front-runner’s camp for the inflammatory tone of the application, which contained numerous, unproven and irrelevant allegations of fraud against the Rae team."

Numerous, unproven and irrelevant allegations.

My only question is this: Will the Rae campaign be receiving a letter of apology from Iggy and Co?

Don't count on it.